10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down
That family trip to the Grand Canyon could be in jeopardy if Congress and the White House fail to reach a budget agreement.
April 7th, 2011
07:48 PM ET

10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down

The list of collateral effects of a potential government shutdown keeps growing and people are none too pleased about it. Here are just a few of the negative impacts that could arise if Congress and the White House fail to reach an agreement on the budget (click here to view in chart form):

  • The lawmakers who hold the cards will still get paid. Their staffers might be furloughed, though. That has prompted a few lawmakers to announce they'll refuse shutdown pay,but even that has elicited critiques of political posturing.
  • Roughly 800,000 federal workers won't get paid because they're considered nonessential and therefore, the first to be furloughed. That includes people who work in national parks because they'll be closed, ruining countless long family road trips. And it's not just the loss of income that hurts - for many, it's being labeled dispensable when they know their jobs are anything but nonessential.

  • As the shutdown looms, some political leaders are taking the opportunity to fundraise and rally their supporters. The executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out an appeal asking for a minimum $5 donation saying the organization wants to raise $100,000 in the next 36 hours.
  • You'll still get your Social Security checks but don't expect anyone to be around to answer your questions about benefits. The people who take questions on Social Security and Medicare questions will not be at work and most government websites will shut down or have limited functionality.
  • Various agencies with the Department of Health and Human Services will operate in a patchwork fashion. The National Institutes of Health will not accept new patients or start new clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration won't operate at full capacity but will have some inspectors on staff. As a result, all FDA inspections of food processing facilities and drug manufacturing plants will be prioritized by risk.
  • Word is getting around that a government shutdown doesn't actually save taxpayers money. For one, it will cost the government money to ensure a smooth transition to a shutdown. Then there's the lost revenue from a variety of sources, from government services to gift shops in government-run attractions such as Yosemite National Park and DC's National Gallery of Art.

How would a government shutdown anger you?

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Filed under: Budget
soundoff (2,555 Responses)
  1. Justgetalong

    Don't forget, your won't get your Pell Grants or Student Loans either. May not be too big if a problem for most, but if you filed your FAFSA late and are still waiting on your financial aid it won't be coming during the shutdown.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andy

    The reason we are in this mess to begin with is that the Govt is still giving tax breaks to corporations to offshore jobs. Yes, TAX BREAKS TO GET RID OF JOBS. Start penalizing Corps for doing this, Bring the jobs back and the 30 milion people that are out of work and on unemployment right now will be able to start paying taxes again.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Edward

    I hope everyone that wants a shutdown has filed their taxes. If I am trains this article right – no processing paper tax returns or refunds. Glad I filed early

    April 8, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    Just another example of the government failing its people. All of them need two licks from Homie the clowns weighted sock.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jesse Fell

    Shutdowns happen only when Republicans have the upper hand in Congress. Democrats realize that for a democracy to work, there has to be some give-and-take. Personally, I wish the Democrats would stand up for what they believe in a little more than they do - I but still prefer them to the Republicans with their strident, my-way-or-the-highway brand of political immaturity.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • NJDoc

      Sure, let one side "punt" on difficult decisions and then the opponents will tackle them. Pick your side. Same strategy, same politics. Where is the promised "change"?

      April 8, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. BK

    Somewhere back there I read a comment from a soldier about not getting payed now. Is that true?

    April 8, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • You Bore Me

      Surely you can figur this out.
      The shutdown hasn't happened yet.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. michael edwards

    It only affects poor people and rotters. Who cares.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. K

    We voted for the people in power now, and you think they would set the example by giving up some of their pay, starting with the President on down. Right now, we are not setting the example for the rest of the world. There should not be any fighting or finger pointing in this issue, we should stand together to fix this problem. It's the right thing to do.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Maybe the right thing to do, but certainly not the political thing to do. Fire them all and start over. We can't do any worse.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Aestuo

    1) The repercussion of the debt will eventually hit us. The impact could have been minimized GREATLY by cutting off discretionary spending (government spending of programs like Social Security and Obamacare). However, Americans in general go bat crazy if anyone takes such benefits away, but they are obtuse or ignorant of the fact that such spending is contributing largely to the debt. The benefits have to be sustained somehow Americans!

    2) Even though there are politicians that do care about the nation and actually want to represent the people, most Americans seem to not vote for them (otherwise we would not be facing so many problems today). I suppose the vast majority of them only want to hear what they like to hear, not what is NEEDED to be heard. Short hindsight there, eh?

    3) If our founding fathers were still alive today, they would start a revolution. I am serious because the government has become too powerful, too corrupted. Actually their power comes from the corporations or the rich (elites). The candidates have tp campaign somehow. =)

    4) Americans should start brushing up on what socialism and communism are about. Then compare our current nation's economy and system of government. I bet you will notice a lot of similarities. Do you want to know something? Too bad I will tell you anyway because you NEED to hear it: THIS NATION WAS NOT BUILT ON SUCH IDEAS. America's outlook is indeed very grim.

    A democracy and a capitalistic economy can work. However, such a nation would require educated citizens to vote. It will also required that the rich does not become so rich that money eventually runs the nation. It makes me sad to say this, but corporations have become filthy rich and as a result, amassed a lot of power.

    The problems certainly did not come overnight but through many years. I would say from the dependence on oil and the introduction of socialist programs like Social Security. A reform of the education system in terms of political-ness and laws mandating citizens to become educated in political matters might be able to solve most of our problems.

    Well that's my two cents.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Actually more like a couple of Bucks!, You left out learning to speak Chinese.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Aestuo

      @ BK – haha, we have relied on our friend China for far too long. I mean, it makes total sense in theory to import the relatively less expensive products we use from China than make them here and pay a little premium. Aha, theories have their uses but the practical implications are anything but sweet.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. No One

    @ Nobody: "It just saddens me that millions of people are going to suffer over situations that are ridiculously infantile."

    With all due respect, tens of millions of people are going to suffer horribly and in a prolonged fashion over the coming years if ALL of us are unwilling to suffer to a smaller degree and slash the Federal budget.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      These cuts add up to a mole on a mosquitos buttox.
      For the size of the cuts being discussed, it's not even worth the time of the media to report on it.

      What they need is an across the board cut (pick the percentage).
      What they also need is to roll tax rates back to what they were under Bill Clinton ... before our national debt blasted towards the moon. Were you financially trapped under Bill Clinton? I doubt it.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. mymortgageislate

    So at a time when we have all struggled to keep our bills current, pay for gas, eat junk food because produce is out of hand, this is telling me that I now will be late on my mortgage because my husband won't have a paycheck? So are we doing away with credit now? LMAO- this is a joke

    April 8, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. BK

    You may be able to LYAO, but I certainly don't see anything funny about the way our country is heading.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Zach

    Let's do some real finger pointing! Why is it that CNN only reports on all the tragedy that must be looming if our government shuts down? Why don't they talk about how we really got here? What about all the money we have spent over the years we don't have? I find it funny that some point fingers at the GOP when they offer a solution, and naive that we don't point fingers at the politicians who don't offer one.
    The fact is, we have a problem far larger than late paychecks or missed cherry blossoms. We have a government that has increased in size over the passed decades to the point of no return. We should be firing government employees not worrying about their paychecks. Let's start with congress!
    I try to read CNN to get another point of view, but again they show their agenda and bias. DNCNN is again ignoring the facts and white washing the news.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Michelle (Seattle)

    Reading all the comments of cutting the 800k jobs since they are non essential is insane. Let's look at this and point fingers since that's what others are saying. Of those non essential are Park Rangers that rescue people when lost, men and woman that keep our aging Armed Forces vechiles running and working.

    Men and woman who do tours of the White House. Plus so many more. To the Politians they can care less. They have money and will still have money. Sadly what we have is two sides who will not agree to disagree and be big kids. Instead we have elementery politics at hand. Where they say the other side is to blame. When it is both sides. The GOP for letting a watershed movement control them.

    For the Democrats it is the fact that the President is to passive. There is no winner here just losers. In the end the one who lose out most are our solidiers, our Forest Rangers, the FDA and all that keeps us safe. How can the Goverment say you must come to work, and risk your life in a war that most of us do not want to be part of?

    They can't and if the GOP thinks that this will give them staying power come the 2012 election they are mistaken. All this will do is put the target on their back and mark them. This is a bad sitution that is getting worse. Not only for the workers, but for all retirees and people depending on goverment money and ultimately the economy as this single handly will through what progress we had backwards.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate


      I think the problem is most people do not fully understand the government's verbiage of essential & non essential.
      It's a dam shame any of these people will be furloughed with no pay...are those fat azz lawmakers going to collect their salaries during this???

      April 8, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • CBenning

      Well said, Michelle...thank you.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. joey

    i cannot believe the complete incompetence of our lawmakers.all of them. They are acting like a bunch of spoilt children I really do fear for our country when such idiots are running it. It is completely ridiculous!!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
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